Summer Holiday Shoes

Monday, 22 May 2017

For me, espadrilles are the epitome of summer holiday shoe; they're lightweight, breathable and perfect for keeping your feet cool in the sunshine whether that's by the beach or at a festival. So when Ego shoes asked me to pick out three pairs of summer shoes, I thought I'd show you guys my take on them.
 Junior Flatform Trainers | £24.99 | White or Black: What I loved about this first pair was the platform. I've never seen espadrille trainers before but I think they look great on and would work well for some of those more active holiday days; of course that doesn't mean anything too strenuous, maybe just hitting up the local town or walking along the beach front. The are super comfortable so they would also be perfect for running around a festival in. I loved that the white upper also has a slight shimmer to it.
Justice Lace Up Espadrille | £19.99 | Gold, Silver or Black: Although I don't wear closed toe that often, I love a lace up shoe! These have a super soft sole and loosely lace up the leg - and I think with the colour in a choice of silver or gold, they are perfect for both the day time and evening. I went for gold as I think it looks great on the beach but the shimmery colour means they will instantly dress up an outfit in the evening.
Natalie Pom Pom Espadrille Flatform | £29.99 | Grey or Pink: The last is a flatform shoe with just a touch of espadrille in the line along the top of the platform but also a fun, furry pom pom on the front. This particular style come in subtle grey or pink but you can buy similar styles in a more harsh black, white or even demin. I almost bought the Abigail style last year but it was a lace up fastening and it just wasn't strong enough to keep the block sole secured to my foot. The buckle fastening on this style sorts that problem out.

The Best Places To Eat In New York City

Sunday, 14 May 2017

To me, its quite obvious that the food in America is better than the food here in the UK. They do everything bigger, better and more sugary and as someone who never passes up the opportunity to have dessert (breakfast dessert is a totally normal thing in my house) that sits pretty well with me! I'm also a huge fan of Man V. Food it's not just dessert that I want to stuff in my face, the main reason that the US is currently on my travel bucket list is the food so today I am going to share with you all the places that I want to visit. Maybe one day, I'll finally get around to visiting NYC again, and I will be able to come back to this list and tick each of them off! I’d love to know if you guys have been to any of these place or if you have any more suggestions for my hypothetical list.
We recently got a new egg waffle place down the road from work and it was a huge deal. Meanwhile wowfuls are killin’ it over in the US with their incredible creations. Why don’t our egg waffles look like that?!
Claw daddy's
It has always been a dream of mine to sit down at a table and have a bowl full of seafood and sweetcorn poured out on the table in front of me. Burger & Lobster will have to do for now.
No matter how many times I was told not to eat raw cookie dough, I was always the kid that ate the cookie dough before it went into the oven. Look it's delicious ok, I couldn’t help it. Little did my 7 y/o self know that one day, it would be possible to buy risk free cookie dough which I could eat until my heart’s content. I was super sad when I found out this was just an american thing but luckily, there is a cookie dough pop up opening in London this summer as well!

 Katz Delicatessen
Growing up in a Jewish family means that Katz Deli looks like home. Their pastrami and mustard on rye looks like NYCs answer to the brick lanes salt beef beigles. (Jewish ones are not called bagels ok)
Milk & Cookies
Ice cream coated in multi coloured candy (getting into the american spirit) and sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies. This place know what they're doing and it looks delicious.
Joe's Pizza
Did you know that NYC eats 150 slices of pizza every minute?! and I can understand becasue it looks delicious over there! I hate 'thin and crispy' over here; seriously, who wants a crsipy pizza. All I want is a greasy slice of thin pizza that is bigger than my face is that too much to ask?
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Sugar factory
Sugar factory has been on my radar for a while. I used to spend a lot of time on Instagram looking for places to have quirky cocktails in London but you don't find cocktails like this in London. Any that I did find were always outdone but photos of crazy colours, huge cocktails from Sugar Factory.
Soft Swerve
This place have some pretty strange flavours including ube purple yam (which I'm pretty sure is big in the phillapines) but I'm always up for trying an adventurous flavour and aren't these the most beautiful ice cream cones you've ever seen?
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My Favourite Essex Days Out

Monday, 8 May 2017

Whilst I love the hustle and bustle of working in London and I really do, I spend most of my life up there whether it's in the office, eating out or just wandering around the streets; Essex is my home. It's a completely different world from the big city, much slower and relaxed with lots of grass and lots of wild animals. Well, there is in my part anyway - there's a peacock who lives across the road from us with his chicken friends and also a couple of goats.

With all my traveling recently, I haven't really had much time to talk about exploring my home here on my blog so when The Essex Business School at the University of Essex got in touch, it gave me the perfect opportunity to put together a post. With the launch of their new BSc Tourism Management degree and a competition running alongside it to find Essex’s Best Youth Tourist Attraction today, I'm sharing my favourite Essex days out.

If you live in Essex then I’m pretty sure you would have been to Southend seaside at some point during your childhood. One set of grandparents used to live there and my other grandparents love it there too so I spent a considerable amount of childhood weekends there. Whilst the cold, stony beach isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I still love to walk along the front and spend all of my money at the arcades - hitting up the 2p arcades is one of my favourite things in the world and I have the best memories there. I loved going with my grandparents as a child and I still love going now whether it’s with them or with Andrew.
Epping & Hainault Forest
So we have a lot of forests in Essex and I love them both as a quiet sanctuary. Epping Forest is somewhere that I make alot of time to visit because its quite close and Molly loves it there and I love to take her out on a walk when I have time; it's always full of dog walkers.

Hainult Forest is all about the petting farm. I went with Andrew and his family for a post boxing day walk, we saw the goats (you should understand my love of goats by now) and I had the best day! After a frosty walk around the lake, we stopped off in the cafรฉ for a warming cup of tea. Hainault forest is also a lovely place for a picnic so we do that quite often as well.
Hylands House
This one is a little bit further away from me but is somewhere that holds loads of cool events. I’ve been in the past for the Dukes Polo with Freeport Braintree (another amazing day out in Essex) and more recently to the Dog Show with Frontline. It’s also the location that they hold V festival at each year!

Freeport is great for discount designer goods but Lakeside will always be my favourite shopping center because it's the one I come home from with bags and bags of shopping every time; the shops there always have the best stock. Apart from a three story Primark and all of my other favourite shops, they have the best range of food for a shopping center. We usually get lunch at Pret or Pizza Hut before devouring milkshakes, cookies and who knows what else as we wander around. Another thing that I absolutely love about Lakeside is that it's never too crowded so shopping is actually a nice experience; we literally spend the whole day there.
If you’re aged 16-25, Post a picture on Instagram of your favourite place to visit in Essex to win a prize package of summer days out worth up to £500. Include a caption naming the attraction, explaining why you love it and remember to tag @essexebs #essexyouthtourism. Ends 18 May. See T&C

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Making Tagines at Le Maison Arabe Cookery School, Morocco

Monday, 1 May 2017

After a morning exploring Marrakech’s best hotels, we made a trip to La Maison Arabe Country Club. Away from the madness of Marrakech this little area of calm was the perfect place for an afternoon cookery class. We walked through the gardens and took a seat under a canopy by the huge wood fired bread oven. There, our afternoon plans were explained to us as we watched our dada (Moroccan chef) spread dough over a wooden board and throw it into the oven.
At the school, we learnt the actual process for making a cup of traditional Moroccan mint tea which was really interesting considering how much of it we had drunk in the two days that we had already been in Morocco. First the green tea is added, brewed and then it is supposed to be poured away but people don't always bother; that explains some of the questionable cups of murky brown stuff we had seen around. The next step is to add the mint leaves and sugar to the tea pot. I thought the blocks of sugar that they had brought out were just for show but I was mistaken. Each tea pot got a fistful of mint leaves and two huge rocks of sugars; not that I was complaining, the sweeter the better if you ask me and if that’s the way they drink it in Morocco, then that's how I wanted to drink it.
It was then poured from a height into the glasses, put back into the pot and done a second time to mix it properly. After that, it’s ready to drink!
Since we were such a large group, we paired up at a cooking station for our class. La Maison Arabe has 16 stations each complete with two hobs and a live video stream so you can keep up easily. For something that is so flavourful, our chicken and apricot tagines were so simple to cook. We put the chicken and some chopped onions into the tagine, covered it in an array of spices and left it to bubble away under the tagine lid whilst we caramelized the apricots with some sugar and water in another pan. After we had finished up rosewater was passed around to pour over our hands leaving us all smelling incredible.
We were taken back out into the garden and off to a beautiful room set up with three big, round tables and a tent style ceiling made up of colourful material. We had actually all just had lunch before making our way to the class although that didn’t stop anyone from trying our creations. The tagine was placed down in front of us and as the lid was lifted the smell of our second lunch filled the room. The chicken fell off of the bone and the sweet chewiness of the apricots and the crunch of the almonds was the perfect accompaniment. Honestly, it was actually delicious and we finished the lot even though dinner was in just a couple of hours.

*Huge thanks to Visit Morocco for inviting me along on this trip

Seeing the tree goats in Morocco

Monday, 24 April 2017

Goats are my favourite animal (apart from Molly obvs) so before visiting Morocco, there were only really two things that I specifically wanted to see; Jemaa el-Fna and the tree goats. The square was amazing and we got to see it on the day we arrived but the tree goats were supposed to be located outside of Marrakech so I had high hopes for our visit outside of the city at the end of our trip.
We were driving for a couple of hours before low and behold, I finally spotted them! These crazy goats hop up into the tree and balance on a branch. It was totally mad to see, just on the side of the road but I was mesmerized and so excited. Apparently I had been talking about it more than I realised because everyone cheered me off of the bus to take some photos which of course I sent straight to Andrew, my parents and anyone else who would listen. 
Argan trees only grow there in Morocco and no one knows why. They have tried to plant them around the world but they just won't grow so that’s why argan oil is so expensive and also highly sought after; not just by us but obviously the goats love the fruit which is why they are up in the trees in the first place. It is rumored that the goats are where the process of creating argan oil begins; although the women at Coopรฉrative Marjana, (the argan oil cooperative that we were off to visit) collect the seed by hand rather than using ones that the goats have passed which results in a much higher quality oil.
At the cooperative, we got to see how the fruit is turned into oil. As we entered the room that they were all working in, the women started to let out some really strange high pitched noises. None of us really knew what was happening but I later found out that this was called barwalรก or youyou and it’s just a friendly thing which all added to the atmosphere I guess. We watched as the women all sat together on the floor hammering away at the seeds. The first step was to separate the skin from the nut and then again to crack the seed out of its shell. Behind a glass screen to stop any contamination, the seed was then grinded into a pulp, mixed with a little bit of water and squeezed to extract its oil.

And so another life goal was ticked off my list!
 *Huge thanks to Visit Morocco inviting me along on this trip
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